Awesome church service… including refugees from Burundi

We had a cool experience at church yesterday.

First, we’re in our eighth week of a Holy Spirit outpouring, which I blogged about a while ago.  Related to that, we’ve been having extra-long church services, with 50 minutes+ of worship, then about 10 or 15 minutes of a message from Pastor Dennis, then the worship team comes back up, and there’s an extended time of more worship, ministry, and the prophetic, with more of a… free-wheeling atmosphere than we’ve previously had in our church.  I mean, there’s a lot more spontanaeity than our fairly highly-structured pastor has facilitated before.  Church starts at 10:00, and typically ends around 11:40, but lately has been getting over at 12:45 or 1:45.  Not everyone stays that long, but many do.  It’s been tiring but exciting, and there have been lots of reports of salvation, healings, and “just” generally being impacted by the Holy Spirit in a way that extends to one’s whole life, not just on Sunday at church.

So, that’s cool in itself.

What made yesterday especially dynamic was, at church, we had a family of Burundi refugees visit.  Here’s the family:  Five adult brothers, each (I think) who were married, plus their children (a lot of them), plus the brothers’ parents, and some other extended family members.  There were at least 30 or 40 of them, altogether, from a three-week-old baby, up to a matriarch who had to be in her 70s or 80s.

Just a couple of weeks ago, this family was placed in Phoenix.  One of the brothers has managed to get a job and an apartment, and members from our church are furnishing it for him.  I’m not even sure how he was led to our church — a pastor-friend of Dennis’ who somehow was acquainted with the refugees said, “Hey, I know a pastor who has spent a lot of time in Africa…”  (In fact, Dennis left yesterday and will be in mostly-Africa for nearly a month.)  So, somehow, they ended up at our church.

Another of the brothers from Burundi was a pastor in Africa — his last church was at a refugee camp in Tanzania.  He’d like to start a church in the Phoenix, and our church will likely help them with that.

Anyways.  During the 10 minute “sermon” from Dennis, he introduced the refugee family, and he asked them to sing… which they did.  It was awesome, a call-and-response sort of song, which they said was about life being better under the Kingdom of Jesus.  After our “normal” extended service, they were all gathered around the front of the church, and Dennis asked them to sing again.  This time, it was with all the kids, too, from toddlers to teens, and with several of them playing percussion (as well as our most-excellent drummer, Bobby, drumming, too)…  They sang several worship songs, all intricate call-and-response, with dancing, too, of course.

It rocked.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 4, 2008, in Introspective Musings. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That sounds awesome. We’ve been having an awakening at our church, too. I would love to hear the Burundi music–does your church have it on their website perchance?

  2. Holli ~ That’s great news about your church! Did anything in particular bring it about, or is God just moving? The Burundi “team” sang a bit during the service, but it was just impromptu, and through the pastor’s mic, so it’s not a good recording. Even my son, who was listening w/ me right now said, “That sounds weird. It doesn’t sound like when they were really singing.” But, you can try this link: and the singing starts at minute 8:25 and ends at minute 10:10.

  3. Thank you, Karen Joy! I listened to it and loved it.
    I’m not sure what’s brought about this move of God. I know the youth have gotten very fired up. Some of them have been out to Bethel in CA and come back very excited. God has been healing several people and just transforming some. Our worship times have been sweet. It’s so refreshing.

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